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World's smelliest fruit goes on sale for the first time in the UK

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 (AP)

If you're ever told you smell like the fragrant durian fruit, it's not a compliment.

Described as the "king of fruits" across South-East Asia, the spiky fruit's smell has been compared to rotten meat, sewage and dead rats.

It is so smelly that one of the most prized varieties - Malaysian Musang King Durian -has never before been successfully imported to Britain - until now.

The name of the spiny fruit comes from the Malay word for thorn, "duri," but the texture is soft and the flavor is sweet. The smell comes from high levels of sulphates in the fruit. Banned many airports, hotels and the Singapore rail network, the Malaysian musang king durian is more fragrant than the Thai variety, which is imported to the U.K.

 "The Malaysian durian is a lot better, it's the best place to get hold of them," Stanley Harper, a spokesperson for Malaysia Kitchen told The Independent. "It's much more fragrant, and available in a lot bigger sizes as well."

New technology allows Musang King Durian and other varieties to be exported in chilled form, as well as vacuum packed --which cuts down on the smell.  

Durians are rich in nutrients and it's believed to be excellent for improving muscle strength and blood pressure.  But the sweet fruit is also is high in sugar and fat. An average 2 lbs-sized durian has close to 1,350 calories. 

In the U.S., you can find Thai durian in many Asian markets and the fruit is used in everything from sweets to ice cream, as well as main dishes.

Luckily durian is a very seasonal fruit, so if you're turned off by the smell you'll encounter it only certain times of the year.